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The dangers of the "Cinnamon Challenge"

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POSTED: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 10:37pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 3:47pm

When you say cinnamon challenge most every teenager knows what your talking about.

Thousands of people are posting these videos to YouTube and over 2 million people are googling this topic.

The challenge is to swallow a full spoon of ground cinnamon in 60 seconds without drinking water.

YouTube videos show people coughing, choking and gagging while their friends watch the action and laugh.

But, doctors and poison control experts are warning people this dare can be very harmful.

"It's a silly thing to do but kids do it anyway. But, they need to be aware there can be possible respiratory problems or airway problems and parents need to be aware that it's become more predominant and it's being seen on the internet and kids are seeing this stuff," said Dr. Hope Short, Family Practice Physician.

According to the American Association of Poison Control, there were 222 calls about abuse or misuse of cinnamon by teens in 2012.

And 30 of those cases required serious medical attention.

Some teenagers suffer from a collapsed lung.

"They're trying to swallow it, and what happens with no liquid they're coughing and inhaling it so the cinnamon gets in their lungs which leads to scarring and permanent lung damage," said Short.

Juniors at Bishop TK Gorman have seen the challenges, but look at it as a dangerous dare and are treating it just as funny videos on YouTube.

"I've been with some guy friends and we talked about it, but when it came to actually doing it, you know there has been some close calls or experimentation so to speak but not that I know of anyone really doing it," said Junior Luis Vasquez.

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Oh brother, can't kids find anything else better to do?

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